Well I got this computer set up for the most part. Still some quirks about this computer that I don't have on my E7200 build but it runs. Long winded review, but here goes:
CPU (AMD Athlon X2 7750 Black Edition):
Ugh. Where do I start? AMD's reluctance to switch the consumer-grade CPUs to a land grid array with a locking mechanism baffles me. Intel's LGA775 has been used since the Prescott days and continues to be the dominant socket arrangement. AMD's gone from 754 to 939 to AM2 to AM2+ to AM3 in the same span of time. AMD needs to realize how easy the LGA design can be once you massively integrate it throughout your product lines. As I was disassembling my Opteron 165 build, the Opteron got stuck under the heatsink base as I was removing my Ninja and came cleanly out of the socket. I'm glad I didn't break any pins or that would seriously piss me off to hell.
Installing the 7750BE onto the Biostar was easy. It was the same old line up the triangle on the chip with the socket and pull the lever down. I gave it some Arctic Silver Ceramique, installed my Ninja and proceeded to install my OS. That went decently well once I got through the nightmarish Biostar BIOS setup (see next portion). Vista got installed well, games played fine until it hit 60C and shut down (I set it this way initially). This chip is hot. 95W may not be much of a difference from my 89W Opteron but boy does this thing produce heat. The only thing I can say is that it's a half-assed failed Phenom. CnQ doesn't work completely right either. It will drop the multiplier down to 6.75 with CnQ but will not drop the core voltage. Idle temps stay relatively unchanged whether I have CnQ enabled or not. I'm sure power consumption drops due to lower amperage required for the lower frequency but it's missing the "cool" portion of Cool and Quiet.
Motherboard (Biostar TA790GX 128M):
Biostar went overboard with the BIOS. Honestly, I've never seen such a complicated, disorganized BIOS. It has a bunch of options to choose from just for the SATA Channel Mode (IDE, AHCI, Legacy IDE, IDE -> AHCI) and I got confused by that quite a bit. I blue screened my Vista twice during boot using AHCI and IDE -> AHCI. I'm not even sure what that all means (because the manual didn't say) but supposedly Vista supports AHCI out of the box...Guess I'm not doing something right.
The RAM timings interface is very cluttered. Instead of listing all the current timings above the options, Biostar has it arranged in a way that well...looks messy.
To give you an example:
CAS Latency [Auto] <- this is where you change it
CAS Latency  <- greyed out line is what it is currently
CAS Latency 
Now take that list and expand it over 10 different timings and some other crap on the bottom of the screen. I think MSI did a much better job with this menu on my P43 Neo3-F board.
The fan controls are whack. Instead of having a minimum speed setting and automatically ramping up the speed based on a temperature threshold, the Biostar has a starting fan speed and a Fan Speed Sensitive (Sensitivity?) setting. Setting the fan speed to 75 and sensitivity to 13 allowed a tolerable level of noise along with a load sensitive speedup of the fans. However, a BIOS flash to the newest BIOS runs the fans at 100% no matter what setting I put it to, so I went back to the November 11th, 2008 revision.
The layout of the motherboard with the master PCIe on the bottom is peculiar. Why would you put the master PCIe on the bottom where sound cards might block airflow (like in my case with the X-Fi)? A paddle card needs to be inserted into the upper PCIe x8 slot for the motherboard to work supposedly. This is a very ancient design in my opinion and the last time I had to put in a shadow/paddle card was the Abit KN8 SLi. Something tells me the same engineers who designed the KN8 SLi, after Abit's mobo division got dissolved, got put in charge of designing the PCIe layout of this board.
Overall not too pleased with this motherboard.
My subjective rating of both parts that I obtained: Half-assed.
In retrospect, I probably should have gotten another P43 Neo3-F and a E5200. It would have come out to be about the same price anyway. I've also come to realize most of the CPU intensive stuff I do on this computer is what Intel does best: number crunching. This build is going away as soon as I get my Opteron stuff sold. As much as I want to support AMD and see the underdog punch with the heavyweights, I just can't justify recommending this platform to anyone.
Edited by RallyMaster - 1/7/09 at 6:23pm